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Data flow-based criteria

In data-flow-based testing, the control flowgraph is annotated with information about how the program variables are defined, used, and killed (undefined). The strongest criterion, all definition-use paths, requires that, for each variable, every control flow path segment from a definition of that variable to a use of that definition is executed. In order to reduce the number of paths required, weaker strategies such as all-definitions and all-uses are employed.

Reference models for code-based testing

Although not a technique in itself, the control structure of a program is graphically represented using a flowgraph in code-based testing techniques. A flowgraph is a directed graph the nodes and arcs of which correspond to program elements. For instance, nodes may represent statements or uninterrupted sequences of statements, and arcs the transfer of control between nodes.

Fault-based techniques

With different degrees of formalization, fault-based testing techniques devise test cases specifically aimed at revealing categories of likely or predefined faults.

Error guessing

In error guessing, test cases are specifically designed by software engineers trying to figure out the most plausible faults in a given program. A good source of information is the history of faults discovered in earlier projects, as well as the software engineer’s expertise.

Mutation testing

A mutant is a slightly modified version of the program under test, differing from it by a small, syntactic change. Every test case exercises both the original and all generated mutants: if a test case is successful in identifying the difference between the program and a mutant, the latter is said to be “killed.” Originally conceived as a technique to evaluate a test set, mutation testing is also a testing criterion in itself: either tests are randomly generated until enough mutants have been killed, or tests are specifically designed to kill surviving mutants. In the latter case, mutation testing can also be categorized as a code-based technique. The underlying assumption of mutation testing, the coupling effect, is that by looking for simple syntactic faults, more complex but real faults will be found. For the technique to be effective, a large number of mutants must be automatically derived in a systematic way.

Usage-based techniques

Operational profile

In testing for reliability evaluation, the test environment must reproduce the operational environment of the software as closely as possible. The idea is to infer, from the observed test results, the future reliability of the software when in actual use. To do this, inputs are assigned a probability distribution, or profile, according to their occurrence in actual operation.

Software reliability engineered testing

Software Reliability Engineered Testing (SRET) is a testing method encompassing the whole development process, whereby testing is “designed and guided by reliability objectives and expected relative usage and criticality of different functions in the field.”

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
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